Kozefò is a mergence of two Kreyòl words: Koze and Fò, meaning, to speak in a loud voice. Kozefò, as an organization, believes education is the key to developing thinking, creative individuals. As Christians, we are called to care and to speak loud against the injustices in the world. This is the true meaning of Kozefò, people together, hand in hand, speaking in a loud voice to bring about positive change in education, one school at a time. Kozefò is committed to supporting the primary school at A New Arrival Center in the Pernier community of Port au Prince (taken from kozefo.org).
While in Haiti this past June, the friends I was with felt pulled to “do something” so that Rock (ANAC Director) would not have to close the doors on the teachers and close to 50 students who attend school (with Davensly) at ANAC because the funding was just about dried up. We decided to organize the 2nd Annual Kozefò 5K Fun Run to raise money for the school’s rent, teachers, school supplies, uniforms and books. Kozefò also deeply desires to fund a feeding program to provide one solid meal per day for the students.
The 5K was held last Saturday. It was a beautiful day all around! One of the best parts of it for me was that Rock, his wife, Sandra, and son, Jaden, made the trip from Atlanta to be with us for all the festivities. It was SO FUN and quite emotional to see him reunited with some families who adopted their kids from ANAC! I REALLY wished Davensly could’ve been here, too. Now, we REALLY want and are praying he and Stanley will be here for the race next summer.
Close to 150 runners, walkers, dogs, strollers, and rollerbladers were in attendance. We had 49 volunteers helping with registration, jewelry sales, freezies, t-shirts, bracelets, crossing guards (special shout out to Ron, Shirley and Cheryl for risking their lives and putting up with some not so gracious drivers at the busy corner of Lake/Pioneer), P.A. system, water stop, course set up/take down, tent assembly (thanks to those who loaned them to us, too!) and whatever else I’ve forgotten. It meant a lot to me to have my mom and dad there, too. Dad was a crossing guard and Mom sold jewelry.
Thanks to the generosity of the race attenders and other donations, we raised $5,500.00 (with some trickling in yet!) for ANAC! We also sold close to $2,000.00 worth of Haitian jewelry for The Apparent Project! Whoop whoop! Here are some pics of the race and happy participants.
Can you find me in this bottom picture? That’d be a big NO because I was bringing up the rear with the group who was out for a Saturday stroll. It was fun to encourage the leaders and runners when they passed us on the way back.
Another cool thing about the day was we had sheets of stickers with pictures of the students available so participants could choose a kid to “run” for. It was awesome to see lots of different faces on people’s shirts…especially our sweet Davensly’s!!
After the race, we headed to Lake Elmo for a picnic and a spontaneous board meeting since Rock was on hand to be part of a conversation regarding the upcoming school year. Kids go back to school at ANAC on Sept. 6 (Davensly and Stanley live on site). On Sunday, it was very special to have the Cayo family join us at church before they headed to the airport. I never imagined that so soon after I met Rock in Haiti that Scott, Cal and Will were going to get to meet the man responsible for bringing Davensly to his forever family! And, it was an extra blessing to meet my new friend, Sandra. I continue to stand back and be amazed at the way God is weaving this story together. Someday, in Minnesota, Davensly will join his brother and sister in a photo shoot with his Papa Rico!
SAVE THE DATE for the 3RD Annual Kozefò 5K: SATURDAY, AUGUST 9TH, 2014.
If you’re inspired to learn more, checkout our website to see what we’re up to: kozefo.org
Follow us on Twitter: @kozefo_haiti. And you can even ‘like’ our Kozefò Facebook page! We might be on Instagram, too?!